Last week, I received a note from a reader who asked, “What are some life lessons you would share with your new grandson?” I replied that I began writing my stories with that thought in mind. Is there anything I can share that might help the next generation avoid some of the pitfalls that I’ve experienced that would help them lead happier lives? In this podcast, Tony discusses life lessons.

Here are 14 life lessons from along the journey of life:

1. Live in the moment. We spend so much of our lives reliving the past or anxiously awaiting tomorrow that we fail to live today. Life is short; it passes us by in the wink of an eye. As the old saying goes, Life is lived in the moment between each breath. We need to live today, enjoy ourselves today, and drink in today’s wonder, savor today’s moments.
2. Relationships are everything. We need to put our relationships ahead of everything else in our lives, before jobs, homes, cars, hobbies, sports, or smart phones. Our relationship with God, our spouse, children, parents, siblings trump everything else. We need to be there for our children when they need us. And, remember, friendships require time and attention. One of the regrets of the dying is they didn’t work at their friendships.
3. Slow down. We live in a world that has no patience. We are always moving at the speed of light, often cramming our calendars with so many tasks and appointments that we never give enough time to anything.
4. Less is more. We are always in the pursuit of more. A bigger house, a more expensive car, a bigger television screen, electronics, gadgets, shoes, and clothes. Whenever you do some house cleaning what you will find is that things just gather dust! If you eliminated everything from your house that is gathering dust, you’ll be surprised at freeing power of less stuff.
5. Giving is better than receiving. This runs contrary to everything we are bombarded with in the media. But, I promise you there is no better feeling that giving to someone that can never repay you and having a positive effect on someone’s life.
6. Practice Gratitude. If we aren’t grateful for what we already have, then how can we expect to be grateful for those things we want? Start the day with thanking our Lord for life, for the day ahead, for family friends and a job. The greater the gratitude to greater our happiness.
7. Be compassionate and show empathy. To have concerns for the sufferings and misfortune of others, and the ability to understand and share the feelings of others will motivate us to desire to help those less fortunate.
8. Be forgiving Anger and resentment will harm your health, get in the way of your happiness, and cause you to live in the past. It is said that anger and resentment are like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It will kill you if you can’t find a way to forgive.
9. Be passionate. Over the years I have had the opportunity to hire many people and I can say that passion is the one thing that stands out above everything else. Find something you really enjoy doing, then, be passionate about it!
10. Be Kind. The smallest act of kindness can change a person’s life forever. It costs nothing to be kind, and it sends a powerful message.
11. Say I’m sorry. When you’ve done something that needs an apology, say it! Don’t assume the person knows your feelings. Say I’m sorry, and mean it.
12. Fear is an illusion. Fear will paralyze you, it will cause you hesitate, stay in the wrong situations. The fear of taking action is always debilitating. Take small steps, take pride in your taking action, it builds confidence.
13. Failures are life lessons. If we don’t take action because we fear failure, then we don’t understand that failures are simply lessons. Failure often puts you one step closer to success. History is filled with people who failed many times before they succeeded.
14. Pain is a normal part of life. We all will experience pain in our lives. Physical pain, mental pain, sickness, injury, a job loss, a bad marriage or a financial setback. Embrace pain as part of life. We all will deal with it sooner or later. Our attitude will do wonders to help us get through the pain.